Adopting Adaptive: A Story in Three Parts

UVA's journey with Adaptive Planning, Workday's Planning & Budgeting tool, truly got underway in 2019 (which, in the current way that time passes, might feel like a decade ago) when Batten, Arts & Sciences, and the School of Education & Human Development undertook a pilot of the software system (then called Adaptive Insights). That pilot was Adaptive 1.0.

In the midst of the successful pilot, just as team lead Elissa Morton was reaching out to other schools and units to expand the testing phase, disruption in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shift in the timeline. Suddenly, in the summer of 2020, all schools and units were using Adaptive for FY21 budget revision and FY22 budget development. This was Adaptive 2.0.

Although their onboarding to Adaptive 2.0 was a little jarring, based as it was in a national emergency, users found the system to be flexible and full of potential. For the past year, people have been working in Adaptive 2.0 while the FST Adaptive Team has continued to shape Adaptive 3.0 to be ready to interact with Workday Financials at its go-live in July of 2022.

Adopting Adaptive has been an interesting process for UVA, and schools and units are both pleased with its capabilities so far while simultaneously yearning for the improvements the 3.0 version will bring.

We spoke to Charles Rush, Director of Finance and Budget at Batten, and Alicia Rudie, Senior Budget Analyst in the Office of the Dean in Arts & Sciences, to get a sense of how folks are feeling at this point in the implementation of Adaptive (let's call it Adaptive 2.5):

We have over 70 departments and 40 department managers in Arts & Sciences, and Adaptive is in the cloud, so people can update it directly and it's nice not to have to worry about editing so much. We're looking forward to the connection with Workday and seeing how the new FDM will make it better and more transparent. We do have better reporting in 2.0, but I've seen snapshots of the integration with Workday where budgeting at the person level will be a 1:1, and that's going to be great. Even though there are still a lot of unknowns, I'm excited about the improvement and moving on to the next stage in the process.

-- Alicia Rudie

I appreciate that we have Adaptive as the primary system for collecting and depositing budget details, and in particular, I love the personnel functionality. My colleagues in Batten appreciate that it sets the stage for the managerial reporting we'd like to do. Because we participated in the pilot, I've been in Adaptive for a long time and know what its capabilities are, so sometimes my patience gets short with what we can do in it now -- I want the robust reporting I know the system is capable of. UVA is absolutely on the right track with Adaptive, and I'm looking forward to the functionalities we'll have in 3.0.

-- Charles Rush

For now, the Adaptive Team continues its work revising the budget process and refining user stories for Adaptive 3.0. We'll continue to have regular updates on Adaptive in the blog, so keep your eyes peeled!